Gel nails are artificial nails that overlay natural nails to strengthen and lengthen them. This type of artificial nail is applied in several gel coats, which are set or cured with an ultraviolet light between each coat. Unlike acrylic products, gel products are odor-free.
Gel nail products, such as gel fingernail polish, are used in gel manicures. These types of gel nail products are not hard enough to lengthen nails, but they do last longer than a typical manicure performed using regular nail polish. Gels that are used to lengthen nails are called hard gels, and those used in gel manicures are known as soft gels.